Hosteling 101: Cleaning Up After Yourself

Clean Hostel

At first glance, my dorm room at Hostel Guadalajara looks like a freaking mess.  But look more closely- can you guess which bed is mine?  If you guessed the one with the plaid blanket and pink sheets you’d bed correct.  Certainly mine is not the bed with the crumpled wet towel hanging from the rails, nor is it the one with the huge guide book (who needs it?)

If you’re staying in a hostel dorm room long-term (by which I mean more than two or three nights in a row) there are some things you can do to maintain your sanity and keep your space liveable.

First, make your bed every day.  Dorms are cramped spaces, and chances are good your sketchy roommate will put his or her bare bum directly on your bed at some point.  Would you rather have their butt on the very sheets that touch your skin every night, or on the covering blanket?  It’s up to you.

Second, fold and hang your towel.  Folding it neatly and hanging it carefully means it will dry in time for your next shower.  You put a lot of effort into caring for your skin; don’t ruin it by drying off with a damp, mold-growing towel!

Third, develop a laundry system.  The only clothing in the above photo that belongs to me is the blue bra hanging carefully from the bed (after being hand-washed in the bathroom sink).  The rest of my clothes are in my pack, with the dirty (and thus smelly) laundry separated into plastic bags.

Fourth, put your bag away.  I prefer hostels that have lockers, but if lockers aren’t available then use a Pac-Safe lock to close up your bag and secure it to a piece of furniture.  Try to slide your bag under the bed if possible, or prop it upright at the foot of the bed so that it’s not blocking people from walking around the room.

Finally, be considerate.  If you ate food in the dorm (please don’t), throw the garbage away in the kitchen so that you don’t attract bugs in the dorm room.  Clean up your hair in the shower.  If you plug the toilet, tell the hostel staff.  It’s the little things that make dorm life tolerable for everyone.

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